If you’re looking for a job as a Scrum Master or Product Owner, you’re likely to encounter questions at your interview that test your knowledge of the Scrum framework. In this blog post series, we’ll explore the top agile Scrum interview questions that you may be asked during a job interview.
This is Part 1 of the series with the first set of Scrum interview questions and answers.
1. What is Scrum and how does it work?
This is a fundamental question that can help the interviewer understand your understanding of the Scrum framework.
Scrum is an Agile framework that provides a structured approach to managing complex projects. It is a team-based approach that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement. In Scrum, the development process is divided into iterations called Sprints, and each Sprint is focused on delivering a usable increment of the product.
2. What are the 3 pillars of Scrum?
The three pillars of Scrum are Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation.
- Transparency refers to the visibility of the progress of the project, and it helps the team and stakeholders understand the current state of the project.
- Inspection refers to the regular review and evaluation of the project to identify areas for improvement.
- Adaptation refers to the ability to adjust and make changes to the project based on the insights gained from the inspection.
3. What are the 3 roles in Scrum?
The roles in Scrum are the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the Development Team.
- The Product Owner is responsible for defining and prioritizing the product backlog, which is a list of items that need to be completed to build the product.
- The Scrum Master is responsible for facilitating the Scrum process, removing any obstacles the team may encounter, and ensuring that the team follows the Scrum framework.
- The Development Team is responsible for delivering the product increment in each Sprint.
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4. What is a Sprint?
A Sprint is a time-boxed iteration in which the Development Team delivers a usable increment of the product. The Sprint starts with Sprint Planning and ends with Sprint Review, and it typically lasts two to four weeks. During the Sprint, the Development Team focuses on completing the items in the Sprint backlog, a subset of the product backlog.
5. What is the Sprint Goal?
The Sprint Goal is a short and concise statement that defines the purpose of the Sprint. It helps the Development Team understand what they’re trying to achieve during the Sprint and provides a shared understanding of the objectives. The Sprint Goal should be defined at the start of the Sprint and should be used as a guide for decision-making during the Sprint.
6. What is the Sprint Backlog?
The Sprint Backlog is a list of items that the Development Team has committed to completing during the Sprint. It’s derived from the product backlog and is updated throughout the Sprint as the team completes items and adds new items. The Sprint Backlog is owned by the Development Team, and they’re responsible for delivering the items in it.
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7. What happens in the Daily Scrum?
The Daily Scrum is a daily stand-up meeting where the Development Team reviews the progress of the Sprint, updates each other on the work they’ve completed, and identifies any obstacles they may encounter. The Daily Scrum is a time-boxed meeting that typically lasts 15 minutes or less, and it helps the team stay on track and focused on delivering the Sprint goal.
8. How is Sprint Review different from Sprint Retrospective?
The Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective are two distinct events in the Scrum framework.
- The Sprint Review is a review of the work completed in the sprint, held at the end of each sprint. The goal of the review is to demonstrate the work completed to stakeholders and to get feedback on the completed deliverables. It is a collaboration between the Scrum team and stakeholders, including the Product Owner, to inspect the increment and adapt the product backlog if needed.
- The Sprint Retrospective is a reflection on the sprint, held at the end of each sprint. The goal of the retrospective is to inspect the team’s process and identify areas for improvement. It is an opportunity for the Scrum team to reflect on their performance and identify ways to work better in the next sprint. The focus is on what went well, what didn’t go well, and what can be improved for the next sprint. The team works together to identify and implement changes to improve the way they work.
In short, the Sprint Review is focused on the product, while the Sprint Retrospective is focused on the process.
9. What are the responsibilities of a Scrum Master?
The role of a Scrum Master in Agile software development is to facilitate the Scrum process and ensure that the team adheres to the principles of Scrum. A Scrum Master’s responsibilities include:
- Facilitating the daily scrum, sprint review and sprint retrospective meetings
- Ensuring that the team follows the Scrum framework and practices
- Protecting the team from external interruptions
- Encouraging collaboration and communication within the team
- Removing obstacles that hinder the team’s progress
- Coaching the team and the organization on Scrum and Agile practices
A Scrum Master is not the manager of the Scrum Team. In fact, the Scrum Master does not have any direct authority over the team members, but serves as a servant-leader to help the team work effectively and achieve its goals.
Read our blog post about the role of a Scrum Master to find answers to more Scrum Master interview questions.
10. What is a timebox? Give some examples of timeboxes in Scrum.
A timebox is a fixed amount of time that is allocated for a specific activity or event in Agile software development. The goal of timeboxing is to limit the amount of time spent on an activity and to ensure that the team remains focused and on track. It helps to create a sense of urgency and limits the amount of time that can be spent on unproductive activities.
Examples of time-boxed events in Scrum include the daily stand-up meeting (15 minutes), the sprint review (2-4 hours), and the sprint retrospective (1-2 hours). The timebox provides a boundary within which the team must complete the activity, helping to maintain momentum and focus on delivering value.
11. What is ‘Scrum of Scrums’?
“Scrum of Scrums” is a scaling technique used in Agile software development to coordinate work between multiple Scrum teams working on a large project. It involves representatives from each Scrum team coming together to discuss dependencies, risks, and progress. This ensures that the teams are aligned and working towards a common goal. The representatives act as liaisons between their respective teams and the “Scrum of Scrums” meeting.
12. What are some of the benefits of using Scrum?
Some of the benefits of using Scrum in Agile software development include:
- Faster delivery of working software: Scrum emphasizes delivering small, usable increments of software in each sprint. This allows the team to quickly get feedback and make adjustments.
- Increased transparency and collaboration: Scrum creates a culture of openness, transparency, and collaboration. This helps to break down silos and improve communication between team members.
- Improved ability to handle changes: Scrum accommodates changes in priorities and requirements. This allows the team to quickly adapt to new information and changing conditions.
- Better alignment with business goals: Scrum helps to align the team’s work with the priorities and goals of the business. This leads to better decision-making and more effective use of resources.
- Higher levels of motivation and engagement: Scrum creates an environment where team members feel empowered and motivated to do their best work. This leads to higher levels of engagement and better results.
- Improved quality: Scrum focuses on frequent inspection and adaptation, and emphasises on delivering working software. This helps to ensure that the team delivers high-quality, usable software that meets the needs of the stakeholders.